(David Pokress/Sportsday Wire)
Twelve years is a long time for any coach in one position.
In 1960, after taking the Yankees to Game 7 of the World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Casey Stengel “retired” from managing. It was well know that he was forced out of the job after overseeing the Golden Era of New York baseball, winning seven World Series and three other American League pennants during his tenure.
But when he turned 70, the Yankees wanted a change and the Ol’ Professor said, he’ll never make the mistake of turning 70 again.
And after the 2007 season, after going to the playoffs for 12 consecutive seasons and winning four World Series, Joe Torre was “insulted” out of the Bronx after just getting a one-year offer.
So if both Stengel and Torre can be let go, so can Tom Coughlin.
Even with two Super Bowl titles under his belt, it just seems like it’s time for a change in East Rutherford. Coughlin will turn 70 before next season and now after missing the playoffs for four consecutive seasons, you have to figure his tenure has passed.
It’s never easy to see a coach or manager lose his job. You can tell from the tone of the locker room that the players know it’s coming.
With the Giants, Eli Manning obviously knows Coughlin the best.
“He’s done a good job not bringing it up and as a player, I think you stay focused on what the task is ahead of you,” Manning said on a conference call. “You get ready for the game plan and going out there and doing your job. Obviously, I have great respect for him, I wanted to do my job and do my job well, and get into the playoffs and have a big season, so he could continue to be the head coach. I have such respect for him and he’s the only coach I’ve had in the NFL, and in that sense, [I] feel disappointed that I wasn’t able to play at a better level for him. ”
Win of lose against the Eagles this weekend, Coughlin is probably done. He’s playing to win, though, and he has one goal in mind: To end this season on a high note.
“It’s not going to affect anything in terms of how I go about my business this week, I will tell the team not to be distracted by it,” Coughlin said. “The only factor that is involved right now is we have one game left and we have to prepare ourselves to play a Philadelphia team in the division that they know us very well, we know them very well. We did not play well against them the first time around, and we need to play much better at home for our home fans in this return visit.
“That’s the only factor that regards whatever all the discussion comes. I’ve tried very hard, and you know this for a fact, the situation is not about me. I’m hoping that the players, they’re not going to get centered around that. We’re going to conduct ourselves as we always have. We’re going to work as hard as we possibly can. We’re going to try to put ourselves and our players in the best position we can, and we’ll let whatever happens happen. We’re going to try to play the game to the best of our ability and win a football game.”
Whatever happens on Sunday, the bottom lines is Coughlin should lose his job on Monday. After a season that saw the Giants lose so many late leads, a coaching change is a must.
Coughlin has a choice in the matter. He could force the Giants to fire him or just walk away and retire. At his age and the way the season has gone, the venerable coach should just opt for the latter. Do it today before the last game of the season and use that game as his Giants valedictory.
Instead of boos, he will hear cheers. There will be applauds every time he is shown on the scoreboard. people will remember the two Super Bowls and not the last four years.
It’s the smart move to do and Coughlin have five days to do it.
Twelve years is a long time, but the Giants should make every one’s last memory the best.